Gareth Bale: embarrassment

Discussion in 'Columns' started by spud, Mar 10, 2012.

  • by spud, Mar 10, 2012 at 9:58 PM
  • spud

    spud Well-Known Member

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    What I'm going to say won't be a popular view, and I will probably be flamed for it. But it needs to be said.

    A fellow poster wrote a few days ago that there is more to football than kicking a ball. He is so right. I am proud to be a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur. I am proud that our history - and our mantra - is about glory. I am proud of the 'Tottenham way'. I am proud of our integrity. Let me share a couple of examples.

    In the 1959-60 season we were challenging for the league and needed to win a game (possibly against Man City) to maintain our challenge. On the stroke of half time we were awarded a penalty. Cliff Jones took it and the 'keeper saved it, only for Jones to put in the rebound. The goal didn't stand. The half had expired, but the ref rightly allowed it to continue for the penalty to be taken; but with the 'keeper's save, the half was over. The players argued, but when the ref explained his decision to (Sir) Bill Nicholson he accepted it and told his team to do the same. We didn't win the game and - as you all know - we didn't win the league. As a club, we accepted what was right, even though it hurt us.

    Early in Alan Sugar's reign as Chairman, he discovered that players had been paid in a way that broke league rules. He reported it to the authorities. We were punished and - although the draconian level of the punishment was successfully appealed - we accepted our wrongdoing. We acted with honour. We did the right thing.

    This season, we inadvertently played an ineligible player in the NextGen tournament. He made a brief second-half appearance in a game that we won comfortably, and he didn't affect the outcome. When this was drawn to the club's attention, the team was immediately withdrawn from the competition. We had broken the rules, so we did the right thing. Contrast this to the behaviour of our opponents in the next round. Liverpool knew of our breach before we played them, but waited until we had knocked them out of the tournament before reporting it in order for them to be reinstated.

    The moral of these stories is that it is important to do the right thing. Winning by cheating is a phyrric victory, and a trophy won by breaking the rules is a trophy not worth having.

    This is why I am ashamed - yes, ashamed - of the behaviour of Gareth Bale. His diving has frequently been debated on this forum, and I have been saddened to see that he has many apologists. Many have proposed the argument that he doesn't dive, he merely takes evasive action in order to avoid destructive challenges by ruthless defenders, and thereby prolong his career. Bale himself has recently used this lame excuse to justify his behaviour. (Perhaps he got the idea from reading it on SC.) I don't accept this, and many proponents of this argument would dismiss it if it were made by, for example, an Arsenal or Chelsea player. They would call what they see: he is a diver and a cheat.

    Today against Everton we had the most obvious example of this to date. In midfield, in the face of an extremely mild 'challenge' from an opponent, Bale launched himself into the air. He wasn't propelled by the challenge: he hadn't been touched. He wasn't avoiding a potentially career-threatening tackle, as the Everton player hadn't tried to tackle him. He simply decided to perform a theatrical dive. He cheated. Again.

    This has to stop.

    Behaving in this way causes Bale to embarrass himself, his teammates, and everybody at the club - including its supporters. I happen to believe that it will mean that he (and the rest of the team) will be awarded fewer free kicks by officials who will think they are being conned, but that is not relevant. What is relevant is that he is harming the reputation of our great club. A reputation for fair play, for doing things the right way. An honourable reputation that has been built over 130 years.

    I have admired Bale's play since he became a regular member of the team. I have cheered his great skill, the way he races past defenders and puts in perfect crosses. I have rejoiced in his great goals. But, in spite of all of this, if he won't stop cheating, I want him to be sold. Yes, sold. No player is bigger than the club, and if he continues to behave in a way that erodes the noble tradition of Tottenham Hotspur, then I want him to be playing as far away from the Lane as we can get him. (If the club then said that his refusal to stop diving was the reason for his transfer, then that would be perfect.) If we were to win a trophy because of his antics, then that trophy would be tainted. We wouldn't really have won it.

    I would miss his great skill, his wonderful goals. But his departure would be a price worth paying.

    Flame away.
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by spud, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Lucky22
    It's a bit one sided to pick on Bale - even within the Tottenham team. Lennon has been known to go down easily, Benni as well and despite his size Ade can get brushed off the ball pretty easily too - so why pick on Bale. Because he answered a criticism honestly.
    Ginola - the best player of my generation - explained his so-called diving by saying something very similar to Bale. He's still regarded as a Spurs legend.
    The modern game is full of cheating. A pull of a shirt, a stand on a toe, a cynical block or a scream at a referee to get a decision. So why is Bale so embarrassing - surely you mean the modern game is embarrassing!!
    The treatment Bale faces week in, week out is what is embarrassing and the fact that fewer players haven't been punished for their treatment of a truly fine player is what is embarrassing.
    To be honest, the fact this is a front page on SC is embarrassing!
  2. PT
    At the speed the game is played these days by professional athletes who regularly put 10k plus shifts in during ninety minutes at high tempo, it is so easy so put a nudge or a shove in for the player to go flying.

    Bale rides tackles well, in order to protect his ankles being tapped but he is also on the look out for an opponent coming in to wipe him out, and on contact will go down if it means an advantage. And why not? Ever considered counting the winks given when the camera closes in following a tackle, to appreciate how endemic this practice is?
  3. billnick
    The speed is in some ways a problem the modern game has, it's never been harder to put in a well-timed tackle than it is now, and it's never been easier to injure a player.

    Someone as fast as Bale in full flight is nigh on impossible for the average premier league defender to stop by fair means, but his brand of 'dribbling' with the ball often quite far ahead of him invites players to slide in hard anyway. The inevitable result is, he's going to get fouled a lot.

    So yes, he makes too much of it most of the time and I wish he'd behave in a way more befitting our tradition - but I think an equal part of the blame lies with the manager. Whilst he should have been protecting Bale, he's instead been pointing out what a soft touch he is. That's inviting opponents to bully him out of the game, it's telling the referees that it's likely he's just making a meal of it. So you kind of expect that Bale will exaggerate it to protect himself. It's also drawn media attention to the way he behaves, and we get the kind of coverage recently seen.

    At the end of the day, we're better with him whatever the antics. It's also true that every club has players who do it. You can legislate against it, but the ONLY thing that'll change matters is for referees to start getting it right consistently. (Something again not helped by the speed of the modern game).
  4. jenko
    against Chelsea? please.... We celebrate...

    Stay off the drugs kid.
  5. jenko
    This article is embarrassing.

    ...and even more so at the thought that Bale himself could read it.

    If he exagerates sometimes its because the whole culture of this sport at every level has encouraged it from day 1 of his career.

    It is obvious GB is very worried about getting a serious injury. You could always see it in the way he plays. When Skirtel (from Liverpool) put the shits up him in the recent match he just faded out of the game as he is so afraid of injury he can be bullied out of games if the ref doesn't protect him.

    To single him out in this way is downright wrong and you should apologise to him for it in case he is reading.
  6. spud
    If he is so terrified about being injured then he should do something else for a living.

    I hope that he does read it. If he cares as much for his image and integrity as you say that he cares for his personal safety, he might take note and cut out his antics.

    I would apologise if I were doing him an injustice. I won't be apologising.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Sweetsman
    This has to be the most sanctimonious shite I have seen written for a long time. Why don't you mention the totally sporting manner in which Baines handled the ball in the area? Why not mention the jokey shove by Skrtel that sent Bale into the stands? If you don't get the fact that some opponents try to injure Bale to slow him down then you need to get rid of your halcyon specs!
  8. spud
    Because I don't care about Baines and Everton, and I don't care about Skrtel and Liverpool. I care about Tottenham.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. mawspurs
    Personally I believe Bale when he says he is trying to protect himself. At the speed he travels very often contact doesn't have to be made and challengers know this they put a foot out then pull it back screaming they made no contact but they know Bale will have to react to that foot or risk injury. So who is the cheat? IMHO the person committing the foul is the real cheat. They can't get the ball off him fairly so they resort to cheating.

    Bale does however have to stop the rolling around as it adds weight to his accusers argument. I can see why he does it, in order to ensure punishment of the ones performing these fouls but he has to accept that is for the ref to decide without any theatrics on his part.

    Why should he take up another career when he is damned good at football and it pays so well? It should be the the real cheats who commit 'professional fouls' to stop him that are made to leave the game. We don't pay good money to see fouls committed we want to see good football in it's purest form. Sadly that is unlikely to happen in the modern game.
  10. Kingstheman
    Yes, players dive. It is bad.

    Players also claim they 'never touched him guv’nah!' after obviously shoeing players, pushing them or barging them.

    Bale needed only keep his mouth shut in this regard. I am not going to indulge in self-flagellation.
  11. Teemu
    I play on the wing at university and I honestly think that the times Bale genuinely dives to cheat are rare. Take the one against Everton, for example. The ball goes past the defender, the defender sticks his leg out...Bale has 3 choices:

    1) Take evasive action to avoid the defender's leg but don't go down. Result: Bale doesn't get injured, but we don't get the free-kick, even though by sticking his leg out way after the ball has gone the defender has prevented Bale from getting it.

    2) Carry on running, get clattered by the defender. Result: We get the free-kick, and rightly so, but Bale potentially gets badly hurt.

    3) Pre-empt the contact, and go down. In the case that there is contact we get a free-kick but the risk of injury is minimised as Bale is anticipating it.

    As it happened, Bale chose the third option, but there was no contact as he jumped OVER the leg. It looks like a dive, but surely it's pretty obvious that the defender has prevented Bale from passing, and Bale has made a conscious decision to avoid the trailing leg so as not to get hurt? It should be a free-kick whatever happens, as either way the defender has made a late tackle and we are going to lose the ball. If a defender make a late tackle we can expect wingers to have to run into the trailing leg on purpose just to get a free-kick!
  12. Kingstheman
    I used to play centre half, full back and various defensive midfield roles.

    I once played a university match (not full University first XI stuff, but in between colleges at my university).

    I once made a brilliant tackle at right back on a left winger.

    The ball went over my head from my left to the blind spot behind me on my right. I turned, dropping my left shoulder and slid my left leg where I knew the ball to be. I hit the ball just as it landed at the feet of the winger.

    I sent the ball straight through him and off the field. Completely fair tackle. I also sent him over my head. As I immediately went to get up, I had to duck my head as he flew over me.

    He then did not bother me the whole match and asked to go off before half-time.

    The fact was, a fair and very good tackle a) stopped him going near me or the ball and b) made him go off injured.

    An art that has been lost in the game is proper tackling. Players rarely can do it anymore. They are as likely to injure a player as get the ball. This is particularly true of midfielders nowadays, they can't tackle - a proper, decent timed sliding tackle. Defenders are going that way (full backs whole play as secondary wingers).

    No one likes diving. What I also don't like seeing is atrociously bad tackling and tackling with the attempt to scare or injure. IOt was not only Skrtel on Blae, but Sagna on Parker. The refs did nothing for us in the end.

    Ask yourself also - how many players claim they 'never touched him' after they clearly clatter a player? They are just as much 'cheats'.
  13. rich75
    Yeah fine, all very worthy. Change that round and say that last minute tackle is a blatant pro foul involving handballs etc etc .. but only on close inspection of the video footage.

    Yep, lets ban Cole and play it again and while we're at it lets replay that game after it's revealed that someone made a dodgy tackle 6 yards outside the penalty area that was missed and on and on and on
  14. JimmyG2
    Tottenham are different. Some people don't seem to get it.
    Tottenham are different. Some people may want us to be like every other team, but we are not.
    Our history, tradition, reputation for integrity as the OP has tried to say make us different and on the whole our fans are different too.
    We expect and applaud good football and until recently we admired football played in the right spirit, the 'Tottenham' way I think it is called.

    Gareth bale is a gifted player, but he's young and needs managing.
    Any player who cheats should not be selected. Standards come from the top.
    If he won't conform to the traditions and historical standards of the club
    he should be sold.
    I repeat my original assertion: football is about more than kicking a ball, winning a game, getting silverware, success in whatever form.
    If you don't like it you are supporting the wrong club.
    Me and Spud were here first.

    Good football before success: success through good football.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. rich75
    Every single player cheats, without exception. Name me a single player that hasn't tried to claim a throw in or a corner or a goal kick even though it's patently obvious that it's not theirs to claim.
  16. Kingstheman

    Raised arms for corners/goal kicks/throw ins.

    Drawing an imaginary ball with their arms after scything the man.

    Raising their hand for a card.

    Making a 'he dived' motion after clattering someone.

    Lying down for ages holding their leg after being 'brushed'.

    Claiming handball as soon as it hits an opposing player's torso.

    Raising an arm for off-side every time their back line is beaten...

    The only one who never did any of that was me, incidently. :wink:
  17. JimmyG2
    I am not sure that you are entirely correct here but even if you are then I draw a distinction between the human frailty of individuals, you and me included, and a culture of cheating.
    Of a club hierarchy that condones or even encourages its players to cheat or to win by other means than talent and skill.
    Some clubs do it because they have no other option.

    Harry defends Gareth in public as most managers will but in private I hope that he leaves him in no doubt that is contrary to our tradition and history and Harry's own standards and does him no favours. He is a better player without such an attitude and in any case it runs contrary to our ethos.
    Players like Ashley Cole would challenge the tossing of the coin at the kick off if they could.
    Football in general and Spurs in particular is better without this mind set.
  18. Kingstheman
    Is not 'ungentlemanly conduct' (or however the referee's rule book describes it) considered to be on the boundaries of cheating?

    Is not trying to con the ref cheating? Sure, there will be times they are trying to appeal to the referee that something has happened, like a missed offside?

    The raising your hand for a 'booking' is now considered a card offence itself - despite being well known as an 'offence' itself. Where does one draw the line? Is it cheating or appealing honestly? If you try to make the referee make a decision - is it dishonesty, cheating, professionalism(?) or competitive spirit?

    But, that being said, I can see what you are saying.

    My dad was a referee in his younger days, he moans quite often when he sees players begging the referee with gestures as I described above. I have never bothered with them myself.
  19. William

    Do you want a spare ticket to the semi?

    Section 128, Spurs v Chelsea.

    Please email me -


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  20. nailsy
    I might be wrong in this but don't most players who dive do it in the area to try and win a penalty? From memory most of Bales dives have been well outside the area and have usually been to try and avoid a lunging tackle.

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